Books Tying the Holocaust, Other Jewish Topics to Animal Rights and Punk Enjoy Success Overseas
In recent years, two groundbreaking American books have made connections between the Holocaust and other Jewish themes and two topics frequently covered by heebnvegan: animal protection issues and punk rock. Both of these books are now enjoying international success.
Eternal Treblinka: Our Treatment of Animals and the Holocaust
On this blog, I generally try to steer clear of the controversial Holocaust/animal rights analogy, but author Charles Patterson addressed the comparison in a proper, respectful academic context in his 2002 book Eternal Treblinka. As Patterson said in an interview, the book “examines the roots of the Holocaust and relates it to the human arrogance behind animal exploitation and the vast array of injustices against humans which have flowed from it.”
Eternal Treblinka was initially rejected by 83 publishers, as the book was deemed “too strong” by some. Now, the book is in its third printing in the U.S. and will soon be available in 13 languages. Just last month, a new edition was published in Spain.
Eternal Treblinka has received fantastic critical acclaim around the world. In the words of a press release last month, “In February 2005, a jury of 30 of the Germany's leading scholars and media figures chose … the German edition of Eternal Treblinka as one of the country's ten most important non-fiction books.” (A sampling of other reviews from around the world can also be found in the press release.) Patterson told heebnvegan, “The book is of interest only in countries with a European/WWII background where the Holocaust means something. It was also published in Japan, but there seems to be little interest.”
The Heebie-Jeebies at CBGB’s: A Secret History of Jewish Punk
A German edition of The Heebie-Jeebies at CBGB’s has just been published, in addition to hard-cover and paperback versions in the U.S. in October 2006 and April 2008, respectively. In the book, Steven Lee Beeber makes a compelling case for why the Jewish roots of punk should be considered when reviewing the origins and history of the punk movement and many of its key players.
Beeber says that the German edition’s publisher and independent German label Trikont are in talks about releasing a compilation featuring many of the musicians featured in The Heebie-Jeebies at CBGB’s. Beeber has already put together a prospective track list.
Beeber went to Germany last month to promote the book’s release there, and he shared a few thoughts and highlights with heebnvegan:
- "While I was there, people thanked me for writing the book and were really interested in many aspects of it, especially my take on the use of Nazi imagery in punk. The press has been equally enthusiastic since it came out. I was interviewed by newspapers and on television and radio and I’ve been seeing some articles and comments since returning."
- "The publisher is a great indie press called Ventil Verlag (Valve Publishing House). They heard about the book via a German journalist who interviewed me for an alternative paper there called Jungle World. Her name’s Doris Akrap …. After interviewing me herself, she approached Ventil Verlag and ended up translating the book into German for them. During my recent tour of Germany, she and I appeared together onstage in a kind of UN-simultaneous-translator meets vaudeville-team act."
- "[T]he introduction for the German edition was written by Peter Waldman, the young leader of the Jewish community in Meinz, a city near Frankfurt that used to be a center of Jewish learning …. He wrote a very scholarly piece about the book, putting it in the context of [Theodor] Adorno and other critical thinkers …."
- "Though not Jewish, Max Mueller, of the infamous punk band Mutter (Mother), was great to meet and gave a wonderful performance at my debut appearance there. I now and henceforth crown him an honorary JudenPunken."
- "Many Germans today are fascinated by Jewish culture. I compare it to the American interest in Native-American culture, especially in the 1960s: a younger generation realizes what it lost due to the sins of the fathers."